Halima Aden says she will no longer compromise religious beliefs for fashion

"As I've said many times being a minority inside of a minority inside of a minority is never easy," she shared on Instagram.

Model Halima Aden revealed she’s decided to step back from the fashion industry after taking time to reflect on her values.

Aden posted a series of Instagram stories, where she opened up about the pressures of compromising her beliefs in the name of representation.

Read More: Naomi Campbell lands Vogue cover, talks Black model mentorship

In the personal post, she shared:

“As I’ve said many times being a minority inside of a minority inside of a minority is never easy. Being a ‘Hijabi’ is truly a journey with highs and lows.” she wrote. “With that said, my hooyo macaan (mother) has been pleading with me for years to open my eyes. Thanks to COVID, and the break away from the industry, I have finally realized where I went wrong in my personal hijab journey.”

During an interview with The Guardian, she shared her hijab non-negotiable in her contract with IMG.

2020 Embrace Ambition Summit | Tory Burch Foundation
Halima Aden speaks onstage during the 2020 Embrace Ambition Summit by the Tory Burch Foundation at Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 05, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Tory Burch Foundation)

“It’s a big part of my identity,” she said to the outlet. “It’s not because I don’t think people are going to listen – it’s more so they know what to expect. I always bring extras – my own set of turbans, turtlenecks, tights – because it’s a collaboration. I also recognise that for a lot of people, in my first year especially, I was the only hijab-wearing girl they’d worked with. So they’re not going to necessarily know 100% what to expect, just like I didn’t know what to expect with fashion, because it’s not the world that I come from.”

As theGrio reported in April 2019, Aden made history on the cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, covering the magazine wearing a hijab and burkini.

“I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador. She is, in my opinion, one of the great beauties of our time, not only outside but inside. When we met, I was instantaneously taken by her intelligence, enthusiasm and authenticity,”  SI swimsuit editor MJ Day said of the selection, according to the report.

Despite breaking boundaries, Aden has expressed discomfort in some professioinal and personal decisions.

“They could call me tomorrow and not even for $10 million would I ever risk compromising my hijab ever again,” she said in the written Instagram post.

She continued to make her terms and conditions going forward clear.

“If my hijab can’t be this visible — I’m not showing up,”  she wrote on a picture, wearing a full hijab covering both her chest and shoulders. “This is the standard moving forward if you want to work with me. Come correct or don’t come at all. Nothing less, nothing more.”

She has received support in her decision from Rihanna who hired Aden for Fenty Beauty editorial work. The model shared the opportunity was her first fashion campaign and the musician turned mogul allowed her to wear the hijab she brought to set.

“This is the girl I’m returning to. This is the real Halima,” she wrote over the image.

The “Umbrella” singer reposted the photo in her own stories, encouraging the 23-year-old on her journey.

“Love you so much queen,” she posted.

Read More: Megan Thee Stallion denies Fashion Nova pieces stolen from other designers

Fellow models, sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid also showed support.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!